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Features for Children

Feature stories for kids that focus on on unusual and interesting write-ups on the world we live in. About its customs, ways of life, about cinema, sport, champions, rare feats and artists. Cool reading for kids.

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The curious history of the world’s most popular board game

The curious history of the world’s most popular board game

There is a good chance that you have played this board game. And perhaps your parents and their parents before them too. According to the company, that makes it, over 275 million games have been sold in 111 countries. Over the last eight odd years over one billion people have traded make-believe real estate with fake money. If you guessed Monopoly, you would be right. Just in case you have not played this board game, a quick explanation is in order. At the start of the game all the players are allocated some fake cash. From there on every player gets to roll the dice to move around the board. When they land on a property on the board they can buy it if it is not already owned. But if it is already owned by another player they have to pay rent to the owner. The more properties you own the more rent you collect. The aim of the game is to own and control of the entire economy. The game ends when the ‘monopolist’ own everything and all other players are driven into bankruptcy. Over the years this game has come to be seen by many adults as […]

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Summer music of the trees

Summer music of the trees

I always used to think that the drive across a four kilometre stretch from my house to the main road was a pain. Actually, not all of it was a pain. The car bounced up and down a few bumpy patches the first kilometer, then zoomed across a smooth 2.5 kilometre slope before struggling in a three-legged hurdle race at the final half kilometre. Reason: there was a traffic signal there and almost everyone in the world seemed to want to go somewhere at the same time. And exactly at the moment when our car inched towards the front, the lights would turn red again. It was a clear five minute wait there.

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A Birthday Surprise

A Birthday Surprise

When you live in one place for as long as I have, you get to know everyone in the locality. I have lived in one house for 25 years now. When we moved to this house, the first person I met was Tara. Her parents lived in the next block. I think she was about eight when I first met her. Tara had wavy black hair, big mischievous eyes and a ready smile on her face all the time. She was very fond of trees and spent all her spare time collecting leaves and pasting them on a scrapbook. She remembered exactly where she had picked up a particular leaf and on which day, whether it was a sunny, windy or a rainy day. Because I was interested in seeing what she had collected, I was her favourite didi, or elder sister.

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Chess for Children: A Smart Move

Chess for Children: A Smart Move

When we think of chess we think of two adults sitting opposite each other, thinking of ways and means to outsmart the other. Many people feel it is a very difficult game. But do you know that most chess players and champions start very young? Viswanathan Anand, number two in the world, played his first chess game at the age of five. This was in 1974. Anand’s mother taught him the game and was his first opponent. In no time he came to be called the Lightning Kid. This was because he made his moves with such speed. In 1987, Anand won the world junior championship, in the Philippines. He was the first Asian ever to do so.

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The Adventurer

The Adventurer

I am sure all families are interesting. But I like to think that my family is especially interesting. I have such great nephews and nieces because of whom there is not a single dull moment in life. Two-and-a-half year old Arshiya goes around asking everyone a very serious question, “Are you happy?” If you ask her to exercise, she says, “I am not Swami Ramdev”. Swami Ramdev is an expert on yoga and comes on a television channel every day. Arshiya has seen the programme with her grandparents. My nephew Akshay had the tendency to wander off to neighbours’ houses with a little lost boy look that made people think his mother had not given him anything to eat! His younger brother Abhishek was always thinking of new weapons to fight the Martians when they landed on earth. My niece Sumita never got off the tree in her garden. As soon as she got back from school she would have her lunch “upstairs” and do her homework there. Kamla, her sister, had a box of calcium tablets with the picture of a giraffe on it. She would gulp as many tablets as she could daily so she would be as […]

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Crafts kits for kids

Crafts kits for kids

I live in a neighbourhood of Delhi which is full of children of all ages, shapes and sizes. In the evenings, the quiet of the place is shattered by the blood curdling cries of boys and girls let loose in the park. They play games that are certainly not for the fainthearted! Ishaan and Tarini are no different. This brother-sister pair is particularly mischievous. Eight year old Ishaan and 10-year-old Tarini are known for playing pranks on others. Placing chewing gum on a chair before someone sits on it is one example. Their idea of helping their mother in the kitchen is to put salt in the tea before offering it to a guest. Two months ago, they locked up their neighbour so they could climb his guava tree and raid as many fruits as possible. The list is long.

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Programmed to learn

Two boys and two girls. They were to be found at one of the busiest traffic signals in south Delhi. The boys were about five or six years of age. The girls looked older, about eight or nine. As the traffic zipped along on the road, the four of them would play their own games on the divider. As soon as the traffic stopped on one side of the road, obeying the red signal, the children stopped their games. They would then go from car to car with dirty rags. ‘Cleaning’ the windscreens of cars with those dirty rags, they would then ask for some money. Some people would give a coin or two, and many more would tell them to buzz off. As soon as the traffic signal turned green, the children would be off to their little island on the divider, and back to their games.

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